Artist Statement

As an artist and educator, I pursue to create and curate collaborative multidisciplinary performances and installations that explore the inherent poignancy of modern life. My current research is fed by themes of inheritance. Specifically, I am drawn to the psychological, environmental, and sociological elements that are passed down from preceding generations and how those elements shape our present and future. I collage multiple generations in my work, taking inspiration from pop culture as well as historical fiction and non-fiction. By investigating the clash of generations, my aim is to ask questions, such as: “how did we get here?” and “where do we go from here?”

 I want my work to incorporate an element of self-reflection by using performance as a microscope to study culture, magnifying and enhancing moments in time. For instance, Shakespeare’s King Lear and Kendrick Lamar were catalysts for my recent work, Not Mad. The movement piece set to live music was ultimately a heightened comprehensive study of the mental illness of four family members. Inherited, presented in early 2015 used the sound of historical American poetry and contemporary pop music in concurrence with slow motion staging of an old vaudeville clown shooting a black youth. Using the performative nature of cultures such as pop music and historical speeches and poetry, I seek to create events that bring a diverse group of people together to share an experience.

 My latest project consisted of a series of performances, lasting about six months. I converted my living room into an exhibition space and presented work, a mix between plays and experimental performances, centered on the theme of inheritance. I called it the Living Room Series. The idea first sprung out of a practical need for cheap space, but as the project progressed, the living room provided helpful constraints to the work and allowed me to experiment with the act of presenting live performance. Traditionally, my living room has been an intimate space where I gather with friends and family to connect and share stories. Sometimes those stories are in person, and sometimes they are on TV. Whatever the case, living room stories became an interesting concept to me. Inviting strangers into my home to actively participate in an ephemeral artistic experience had an intimate risk involved that heightened the stakes of each presentation. Likewise, walking into a stranger’s home had a sense of danger for the spectators. The risk and danger of the Living Room Series created a buzz that interested the community. For six months, every showing was extended at capacity. After each performance, the audience chose to stay, socialize, and discuss the work. My house became a home where the performers and spectators were invited to dwell, share, and experience a truly united community.

 My background is in theatre, and a lot of what I do is influenced by the collaborative elements of theatre. For me, performance is a communal practice that brings people together sharing a unique experience. This unity fuels me to create work whether on a stage, in a gallery, or in a site-specific environment.

 As I continue to progress in my practice, my goals are to help position experimental performance in theaters, museums, and academia as a recognized multidisciplinary form of contemporary art. I want to create and curate new work. I want to collaborate with artists across different mediums. I want to continue teaching, inspiring new artists to challenge the notion of what contemporary performance art can achieve. I want to create a viable platform for new work. Within my performance, curatorial, and teaching practices, I want to be involved in the surge of incorporating highly disciplined artistic mediums into performance art. I feel strongly about collaborating with professionals of music, dance, theatre, film, etc. to create practiced experimental performances that are presented in galleries and beyond. I want to fuse other art forms within the performance art realm.